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Thread: Cable subscribers are about to get a sneaky fee

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    Default Cable subscribers are about to get a sneaky fee

    If you have cable TV service, you probably have at least one set-top box in your house. On Monday, a federal rule change takes effect that could eventually force you to rent more cable boxes.
    Right now, most cable systems don’t scramble the “basic tier” service which includes local broadcast stations, public, government and education channels, as well as some non-premium programming. Buy basic service and you can plug the cable into a digital set that has a QAM tuner and see these unencrypted channels without a set-top box.
    Cable companies want to scramble everything coming through their wire, including basic service. They say this will allow them to reduce theft – prevent people from watching programs they didn’t pay for – and improve customer service.
    Their plan is to keep every cable household connected to the network and then activate or terminate service remotely, rather than sending out the cable guy. They say this will improve efficiency – technicians can focus on more difficult installations – and reduce the need for customers to stay at home waiting for service.
    The Federal Communications Commission had prohibited the encryption of basic cable since 1994. But in October, the commission voted to allow it, starting on Dec. 10.
    “By permitting cable operators to join their competitors in encrypting the basic service tier, the Commission has adopted a sensible, pro-consumer approach that will reduce overall in-home service calls and accelerate cable operators’ transition to all-digital networks,” said Michael Powell, president of the National Cable & Telecommunications Association (NCTA) in a statement.
    Should your cable company do that, you will need a set-top box on every TV in the house to watch any cable programming.
    A charge for every television
    “The cable companies, with the FCC’s blessing, have figured out how to pick the pockets of cable customers and charge them for every television they have – even when they don’t really need a cable box,” said consumer advocate Edgar Dworsky, founder of ConsumerWorld.org

    Dworsky told me he has “secondary” television sets in his kitchen, office and guest room. Each of these has the cable wire from the wall connected to it so he can watch his local TV stations. If his cable company encrypts those stations, which he expects it to do sometime in the next six months, he’ll need to get converter boxes for each of those sets – or buy an antenna.
    The FCC acknowledged that its rule change would “adversely affect a small number” of cable subscribers.
    Dworsky calls that “ludicrous.” And he points to comments filed by the City of Boston, which warned the commission that allowing cable operators to encrypt basic service “would result in real and substantial benefits for cable operators, and equally real and substantial costs for consumers.”
    None of the six major cable companies in the country has announced a date to encrypt basic channels.
    In an email to NBC News, NCTA spokesman Brian Dietz noted that Cablevision already encrypts basic service in New York City under a waiver granted by the FCC in 2010. Dietz said the company did not receive any complaints from its customers.
    When asked what it planned to do, Comcast, the country’s largest cable service provider, said in a statement:
    “Currently, we do not have any announcements to make. Should we plan any changes in the future, we will notify any impacted customers well ahead of time.”
    (Comcast is the parent company of NBC Universal, which owns NBC News.)
    Dworsky insists Comcast and other cable companies would not have lobbied so hard for the rule change if they did not plan to scramble basic cable channels.
    The details of the FCC’s encryption decision
    Before a cable company can encrypt basic service, it must give customers 30 days advance notice. The FCC rule requires them to give two free converter boxes to customers with only basic service for two years and one free box to everyone else for one year. After that, the cable companies could sell or rent the boxes.
    The FCC’s decision does not require those free converter boxes to deliver high-definition signals. For basic service in HD, customers would have to rent an HD box which could cost as much as $10 a month.
    Consumer advocates say these box rentals will become a new revenue stream for cable companies.
    “People have gotten used to seeing these channels for free, so this is going to be a setback for many folks,” said Linda Sherry, director of national priorities at Consumer Action. “People have to ask themselves if cable TV is something they want and can afford, because it’s going to continue to go up in price.”
    Dworsky hopes unhappy customers will let the FCC and their cable companies know how they feel about the rule change.
    “This will be a good test to see which cable companies really care about their customers and which care more about their bottom line,” he said.

    Cable subscribers are about to get a sneaky fee - Business on NBCNews.com

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    Default Re: Cable subscribers are about to get a sneaky fee

    seems like US goverment is getting ready to do something really big

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    Default Re: Cable subscribers are about to get a sneaky fee

    the rich get richer and the poor get poorer
    pleas take a moment to watch and share this in it's ENTIRETY http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=20RoAfflGCM
    learning is good .....understanding is better .....pleas teach with wisdom............................................ ..............calemus

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    Default Re: Cable subscribers are about to get a sneaky fee

    Welcome to Canada.

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    Default Re: Cable subscribers are about to get a sneaky fee

    Not me, they gave me two HD boxes for free. I pay a total of $3000 a year, for cable. every pay station, and digital voice for my phone, plus I get over 75megs download and 11 -12 megs upload
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    Default Re: Cable subscribers are about to get a sneaky fee

    3 k a year? seriously?

    for phone and internet i pay a total of 575 dollars. a year.
    you rich people are astounding
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    Default Re: Cable subscribers are about to get a sneaky fee

    Quote Originally Posted by Doctor_Death View Post
    Not me, they gave me two HD boxes for free. I pay a total of $3000 a year, for cable. every pay station, and digital voice for my phone, plus I get over 75megs download and 11 -12 megs upload
    We pay quite a bit more than that... damn it. About 200 a month I believe... well, after the initial promo ends.

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    Default Re: Cable subscribers are about to get a sneaky fee

    Calemus, you have to understand that that covers every possible station, free long distance calls, and fast upload and download speeds. I also get at least 3 new movies a month, so that's a total of 36 High Def movies a year at $4.99 each. You may pay $576 a year, but your speeds come no where close to mine phone is not as clear, and I doubt you get any where close to the amount of stations I get

    I have 65" HDTV in my bedroom and 55" in my living room, so I enjoy watching crystal clear movies. There's nothing I can do about the price, and I sure as hell am not going to drop down to 3megs download and less than a meg upload with Verizon, that would be a very foolish mistake.
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    Default Re: Cable subscribers are about to get a sneaky fee



    whene i grow up i wana be like DDOCD


    no wait,,i dont wana grow up,,,i gotta find a ballance point here some where
    pleas take a moment to watch and share this in it's ENTIRETY http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=20RoAfflGCM
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